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Nigerian Nollywood legend, Amaechi Muonagor begs for help with kidney transplant

A social media video showing Nollywood comedy legend Amaechi Muonagor in poor health and begging for financial help has shocked many Nigerians.

He can be seen in bed with a bandage on his chest, barely able to talk.

Another actor, sitting next to him, explains that Muonagor needs money to pay for a kidney transplant.

The news comes as Nigerians are still mourning the death of Nollywood star John Okafor, better known as Mr Ibu, who also needed medical help.

In the video, released on Monday, a clearly distressed Muonagor, rasps in the Igbo language: "Igbo people, I greet you all."

He is unable to continue and actor Kingsley Orji takes over explaining that the veteran performer is suffering from kidney-related issues.

"It has not been easy. He has been in this condition for months now. He wants to go for a kidney transplant," Orji says.

"He just came back from the ICU... a couple of days ago. He was responding to treatment but not very well.

"We decided to bring him home because there was no money but it is not advisable. He barely talks well. Please, he needs your help," he adds.

Reacting to the video, many people have been expressing their sadness, saying they are praying for the actor and pledging money.

Muonagor's health issues, and the death of Mr Ibu earlier this month, highlight a huge problem facing Nollywood actors and their healthcare.

As they are paid on a film-by-film basis many are not part of a health insurance scheme or able to make regular payments. Although the Actors Guild of Nigeria says it has been able to get an insurance company to cover the industry, not all performers have signed up.

During his career Muonagor has appeared in dozens of films, including Aki and Paw Paw, one of his most famous roles where he played the father of two mischief-making, over-exuberant teenagers.

Despite competition from foreign movie industries, Nollywood continues to maintain a prominent place among Nigerian and wider African audiences.


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